Searching for Baseball History – and USC’s Bovard Field

USC Baseball, 1946
Photo:  Tom Phelps scores for USC in a 1946 game against UCLA at Bovard Field. Credit: El Rodeo, 1946

Jane Leavy of the New York Times examines the search for historic baseball diamonds, including USC’s Bovard Field, where Mickey Mantle hit two legendary home runs during a 1951 exhibition game between the Trojans and the Yankees.

She writes:

For a baseball biographer, documenting the landscape is an essential part of holding myth accountable to history.

Too often, the places at the heart of the game go unmarked, unnoticed and untended.

“Baseball fans are concerned with who and how many,” said John Thorn, baseball’s official historian. “Place matters — that’s where our great ghosts come to life.”

Pedro Moura also revisited Mantle’s homers for ESPN.

History – at least to crossword puzzle fans – was made last week by Patrick Berry, who challenged New York Times readers with a series of six puzzles that had to be put in order to solve a final mystery. Deb Amlen has more in the New York Times’ Wordplay blog. (And yes, I’m proud to say I cracked the meta-challenge.)

The L.A. Daily Mirror and L.A. Crime Beat curated from only the finest Twitter feeds by the discerning bots at

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1951, Baseball, Preservation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Searching for Baseball History – and USC’s Bovard Field

  1. Good story that was deep in the Sunday print edition. Leavy wrote two terrific baseball bios, on Mickey Mantle and Sandy Koufax. But more to her point–would be great to see lots more about the Dodgers at the Coliseum–there certainly is plenty of room for more historic landmarks. I remember there used to be a USFL football team at Anaheim Stadium and the only memory of it was a small plague placed inside the stadium. I found it one year and went back the next to show friends–it had been hidden by a beer stand 🙂


Comments are closed.